Origins

We travelled by boat and train

Through Ireland’s pleasant green

Changing at Manulla

Then Ballina was seen

Then climbing on a bus

We left the world behind

And ventured into bogland

To visit my mammy’s kind

 

Rhododendron by the road

At Crossmolina town

Then goodbye to all we’d ever known

Till the Owenmore was found

And following by that neat defile

A scar on mountainside

Told us of Bangor Erris

And beyond – Glencullenside

 

The townlands of my mammy’s place

Have haunted all my years

Since I heard the aunties talking

In laughter and in tears

Attawalla Cloontiakilla

Bellanaboy and Muing

Glenturk and Carrowmore

Every name I sing

 

Brian Fahy

3 January 2023

 

+ Erris is pure bog. To get to Bangor and Belmullet overland you have to cross twenty or thirty miles of emptiness. It was like taking a stagecoach into a wild west. A marginalised people living on the margins, the people of Erris were the poorest of the poor. I have roots there and proud of it.

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